Random's First Story
Random decided that the hardest part about being a one-armed bartender was the part at the end of the day when you had to throw people out. The rest? That was easy no matter how many hands you had. But the throwing people out part, that’s when having another arm would’ve been useful.
Random would’ve helped, of course, since he was working for the one-armed bartender. He’d been paid a half-silver at dawn and promised another half at dusk to help with the crowd. But hell, Random was a week shy of eleven years old. It just wasn’t in his wheelhouse.
Norlass (that was the one-armed bartender’s name) went up first to a gruff old orc, had a quick conversation with him, and the orc left without any trouble. Then he went up to an old whore. She was a little less kind, and Norlass had to lift her up bodily and deposit her in the rain. She didn’t really put up a fight, but still, Random thought about how much easier his life would’ve been if he’d had both arms.
Random admired the scar as Norlass crossed the bar to throw out a hooded figure, the last one who remained in the entire establishment. It’d been cut clean through by a throwing axe: Bone, sinew, muscle and flesh had all been lost in one smooth cut. The scar was a frightful, awful thing. Random often found himself staring at it when he should’ve been working. He moved his head down and continued cleaning. It wasn’t any of his business.
He missed the hushed words traded between the bartender and the hooded figure, and he missed the smooth movement of the table between them being knocked over and Norlass being flung backwards. He could not miss the cracking sound as Norlass’ back struck his own bar. Random chose that moment to stop cleaning and stay very very still. Random has learned long ago not to move in these situations. Running might’ve just attracted the hooded figure’s attention.
As he stood up, the hood fell from his head and Random saw that it was a man. Half-elven, about 20 or 30, pretty enough and with rather shocking red hair, but no more beautiful than any of the boy whores you saw down on the docks most days. Nothing special. And no reason to understand why he’d flung Norlass across his own bar.
Norlass was coughing up his own blood, and hadn’t even recovered enough to stand, when the red-headed man was on him again. He lifted Norlass up by the neck and pushed him against the wall. “Tell me, Norlass! My sister was here! Where did she go?”
Norlass choked out a response between gasps for air. “She didn’t say… She’s… much more dangerous… than you ever were… much stronger… dangerous… friends.”
The half-elf smirked as his hand slipped inside Norlass’ chest, pushing through ribs and flesh as though they weren’t there.
He spoke with a smile: “Can’t have that. A little sister should always have to look up to her big brother.”
The half-elf pulled Norlass’ heart out in one smooth motion. Random saw it beat once, spurting blood all over the room, before it severed completely and permanently.
Norlass’ murderer turned to go, but not before laying a purse of coppers on the table above Random. “Do clean up.” He said, before disappearing into that rainy City night.